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Female suicide bomber kills 16 in Iraq

A female suicide bomber attacks the office of a local front against Al-Qaeda in Diyala province, killing at least 16 people and wounding 27.

world Updated: Dec 07, 2007 14:55 IST

A female suicide bomber attacked the office of a local front against Al-Qaeda in Iraq's restive Diyala province on Friday, killing at least 16 people and wounding 27, security officials said.

The powerful explosion shook the town of Muqdadiyah, 100 kilometres north of Baghdad, near the provincial capital Baquba at around 10 am (1230 IST), they said.

"The explosion was caused when a female suicide bomber detonated her vest in the office of the local awakening group," said Baquba police official Lieutenant Colonen Najim al-Soumaidaie, referring to a group of local Sunni Arabs who have taken up arms against Al-Qaeda in central Diyala province.

Dr Hussein Abdullah of the Baquba hospital said 16 bodies and 27 wounded people had been brought to the facility.

"Of those killed 10 were from this (Awakening) group and five others were civilians," a security official in Baghdad said.

The wounded included 15 from the Awakening group, he added.

Al-Sahwa or Awakening groups have sprung up across Iraq, comprising mainly Sunni tribal leaders who have accepted money from the US military in return for confronting Al-Qaeda militants who attack civilians.